Israeli leftists have begun drawing up a "blacklist" of army officers involved in the recent operation in Gaza, in response to the military censor's decision to ban the publication of their names, pictures or other identifying details.

Until 10 days ago, the censor had permitted officers' names to be published. However, on orders from Attorney General Menachem Mazuz, it then changed its policy for all officers below the rank of brigade commander, due to fears that any officer publicly identified as being involved in the operation could be vulnerable to prosecution overseas in any of several European countries that claim universal jurisdiction.

By then, however, many names and pictures of lower-ranking officers had already been published, and these reports are still available on the Internet. Hence by searching the Web, leftist activists can easily compile a database of such officers.

So far, the local blacklist contains the names of nine battalion commanders from the Golani and Paratroops brigades and the armored corps. However, defense officials fear that overseas leftist organizations will use the same technique to compile far more comprehensive lists, including junior officers and pilots.

As far as is known, there has been no cooperation in this effort between local and international activists.